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Healthy Living for Kids: Explaining the Truth About Food

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Healthy Living for Kids: The Food Fairy

It seems to me like the tooth fairy has a second cousin, and it's getting in the way of healthy living for kids. I like to call her the “food fairy” because she, like many other fairies, is a myth.

The food fairy waves her magic wand and meat magically appears on a hermetically sealed, foam tray. These trays come in many fancy colors: blue, pink, red, white just to add a little excitement. The packages are lined up in festive refrigerated cases with flashy advertising around them in displays about as far removed from the product’s origin as possible.

Healthy Living for Kids: The Truth About Food

This work of fiction is what most children see as the origin of their food. I prefer my children to understand the reality of where their meat comes from so they can truly appreciate the sacrifice of the animal they are eating. It is a wisdom that impacts them every day of their life, and contributes to informed and healthy living for kids of all ages.

Healthy Living for Kids: Lead by Example

We eat chickens butchered at home. We eat venison that we pull from the woods, field dress, and hang up on a pulley system in our garage.

My kids see the animals that become their meal and they are better for it because they understand how hard their mom and dad have to work for it.

There is a sense of responsibility and value that just grabbing a package of chicken at the store the way one grabs a quart of ice cream can never bring.

They understand that it is what helps sustain them over the cold winter and are thankful.

We also have a huge garden. My kids know that their food gets wet from rain, gets nutrients from the soil, and is weeded everyday by the whole family.

When it gets on their plate, in their eyes it represents both nature and nurture in memory form.

Food is not a source for a little sticker from Mexico or farther away to add to their collection.

Healthy Living for Kids: Start Early

My husband, Dan, and I have tried to instill our food value feelings in our children since they were born. They have seen both mom and dad go hunting. They have seen both mom and dad in the garden. We make sure they are not only exposed to the reality of where food comes from, but are active participants in what ends up in their stomach.

It is nice to know that if the food fairy can’t come to the grocery store there is a freezer full of food in our house and a pantry full of jars and dried foods to go with it. That's true healthy living. For kids. For families. For everyone.

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